Becton, Dickinson and Company(BD) launches cross-border volunteer programme to improve medical services in Ghana and Zambia
BD’s launched a cross-border volunteer programme in 2005 in partnership with the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) and Direct Relief International.
Through the BD Volunteer Program, BD sends teams of its associates to remote health facilities to help build local health capacity through training, construction, health services and laboratory strengthening. The overarching motivation is to impact the community through improved health care — about 16 percent of Zambia’s population is HIV-positive and Ghana’s infant mortality rate is about 54 out of 1,000. The BD program has powerful potential for impact because of its high leverage of corporate and philanthropic resources. Volunteers are selected for specific positions, such as nurses, laboratory trainers, general assistants, and light construction workers, based on the needs identified in the beneficiary location.
The programme sends 10 – 12 skilled employee volunteers from all over the world to Ghana and Zambia for two- or three-week service trips, working in hospitals and clinics. In addition to sending volunteers to the sites, BD donates products both during the visit and as needed for an additional two years. The company also leverages business relationships on behalf of the organisations to secure donated equipment, including computers and microscopes. BD employees also raise funds that the company’s matching-gifts programme matches.